Beadmakers have any number of specialties—dots, fish, humorous sculptural (especially cats), ultralong barrels, metallic leaf—the list goes on and on. Some people are incredibly disciplined, doing only one kind of bead; others might do two or three related styles.
Needless to say, I cannot have claimed to have found the one true bead unique only to me. One of the reasons I've stuck with glass as long as I have is that when I get bored with one thing, I can bounce to another. However, my beads do fall into several categories—textured (frit, powder, leaf); trailed (dots, curliQs); dichro; and florals. Florals (the way I do them, anyway) are basically a form of fancy trailing, using striped cane. Pati Walton, Kristin Frantzen Orr, Leah Fairbanks and Kim Fields are all known for their trailed florals.
Closeups. Click on these thumbnails for larger image, 512 pixels wide. These beads are approximately 2” long, made with Effetre and Vetrofond glass, Thompson enamels, commercial and artist-made frits, and 22k gold metallic leaf. As the closeups show, my lipwraps leave something to be desired. On the hand, these all retail for $38 or so, which I think is a pretty good deal.
I've mentioned (just a few times) how much I love stripes, so using striped cane to trail flowers was a natural for me, though I doubt it would've occurred to me to try representing flowers on beads if someone else hadn't tried it first. A lot of people have asked me what the flowers on my beads are ‘are they irises?’ (presumably because iris was initially so popular: one of the bead artists who developed this style grows about 30 different kinds and chose them for her earliest experiments). Thus, most of the frit and powder floral vases are made on a blue-green-violet background (monet), often with purple (which is a common crocus color) and blue (which ain't.)
Well, I do have a garden, but have only started growing iris in the last 2 years; on the other hand, I've been growing crocus, which come in stripes and actually have this shape, since before I took up bead making. No-one who has iris growing in her garden could fail to be charmed by them, and I'd like to try representing them some day; but if the flowers on my beads have to be assigned a specific species, that's more or less how I think of them.
Unless otherwise noted, text, image and objects depicted therein copyright 1996--present sylvus tarn.Sylvus Tarn